Responsible mineral and energy futures: views at the nexus

Publisher:
Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2014, 6 July 201 (6 July)
Issue Date:
2014-01
Full metadata record
Files in This Item:
Filename Description Size
ThumbnailGiurco_2014_ResponsibleMineralEnergyFutures.pdfPublished Version347.4 kB
Adobe PDF
Societal prosperity is underpinned by access to the increasingly interdependent resources of minerals and energy. In an era of mineral resource constraints and radical transition in the energy sector, this paper reviews the extent to which a long-term view of production and use is adopted in both fields. A long-term view including the mineral-energy nexus is deemed to be necessary (although not sufficient) for managing future resource constraints and energy transitions. Alarmingly, it identifies that the future of minerals resources and production is generally considered 5-10 years ahead rather than several decades or more as for energy. Additionally, the sectors are generally studied independently, rather than with a focus on the nexus. With these findings as evidence of an unaddressed problem, the paper then focusses on the current forces for change in the minerals industry: namely community drivers regarding social licence to operate, new technologies and consumer and government drivers on responsible minerals. As discussions of sustainable development become displaced by the emerging discourse of `responsible minerals, what is adopted and discarded? Whilst responsible minerals considers chain-of-custody, it does not adopt a long-term view and overlooks the mineral-energy nexus. Using three illustrative cases at the nexus of (i) rare earths-renewables, (ii) coal-steel and (iii) uranium nuclear we extend the theoretical discussion on `responsible with a range of contemporary examples from the perspectives of producing (Australia) and consuming countries (Japan, Switzerland) and propose a research agenda for an expanded notion of responsible minerals which recognises the complexity of the mineral-energy nexus and connects it to progressing sustainable futures.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: